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We've listed questions that we've often received here.  Simply click on the dropdown arrow for the category your question would best fall into to see a list of frequently asked questions.  If you don't see the answer that you're in search of, please feel free to contact us at info@varegency.org.










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About the RSV
About the RSV

What does the Regency Society of Virginia do?
We’re primarily a group of folks who love the period between 1790-1820 and want to recapture the spirit of that elegant age through a variety of events (dances, lectures, picnics….you name it!).   While providing Regency-themed groups and interested individuals opportunities to socialize with like-minded people is a big part of what we do, we’re also eager to expand our knowledge of this most fascinating period and, with any luck, pass on that same interest and knowledge to others.  We’re always looking for ideas for gatherings.  If you have one, feel free to let us know by e-mailing us at events@varegency.org.


What exactly is the "Regency"?
The Regency era was a period in British history between 1811 and 1820 when King George III was declared unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, was appointed Regent (hence the term “Regency”) to rule in his stead.  Often, however, the term is applied to a broader period of time that extends back to the late 18th century and shares similar political and cultural trends with the years of the technical “Regency” era. 

Other nations refer to the same general time by names that are more reflective of their own history.  In the United States, for example, the last decade of the 18th century is known as the Federal (or Federalist) period and roughly the first two decades of the 19th century are designated as the Jeffersonian period.  These monikers are derived from the names of the political movements directing the US government at that time.  In France, the same era is known as the Directoire and Empire periods after the governments (the Directory from 1795-1804 and Napoleon’s consulate from 1804-1815) which presided over late- and post-Revolutionary France.


Do I have to be a member of the RSV to participate?
While we do have a few “Members Only” events and require one to be a member to join our forum or vote on RSV business, the majority of our events are open to everyone.


How much does it cost to participate?
We make every effort to charge nothing or very little at all for our events.  Where we do charge, it is only to cover our costs (for facility rental, speaker fees, etc.).  If you wish to become a member, there are annual membership fees which vary according to the type of membership you choose.   (By the way, members are often given discounts at events which, depending upon how often you participate with us, can cover much of the cost of your membership!)


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Membership
Membership

What are the requirements to join the RSV?
We only ask that our members have an interest in the historical period between the years 1790-1820.  There are no academic or professional requirements to become a part of the group and we delight in the diversity of interests of our membership.  Whether you have been studying this period for a lifetime or have just discovered the era thanks to "Hamilton," you are welcome here.


How often do I have to participate?  Are there event quotas to maintain membership standing?
How often you participate with us is up to you!  While we would always like to have the pleasure of your company, we don't require anyone to come to RSV functions in order to remain a member in good standing.


What sorts of memberships are there?
The RSV has three membership levels from which to choose. Our Individual Membership ($15/year) allows any person, 18 years of age or older, to become a member and grants that individual access to all RSV member benefits and privileges. Our Family Membership ($25/year) is for a married couple or single parent and their dependent child(ren) residing at the same address. Only the parent(s) on a Family Membership are granted access to the member side of the RSV website and voting privileges on RSV business. (Dependents on a Family Membership are, however, eligible for all member discounts.)  Our newest level of membership is an Associate Membership ($5/year).  This is primarily an online membership for individuals, 18 years of age or older.


What membership level should I choose?
Which level you should choose is really based on how you envision participating with the Regency Society of Virginia.  Associate Memberships are best suited for individuals who do not anticipate attending in-person RSV events.  For those singles who do wish to take advantage of in-person event discounts, have voting privileges, or hold RSV office, the Individual Membership is the best option.  Have a whole household who would like to join in the fun?  A Family Membership is probably your best bet.

For a more detailed comparison of benefits for each of the membership types, click here.


How long do your memberships last?
All memberships are valid for one year from the joining date.


How do I sign up to become a member?
You can sign up and pay for your membership online by going to our New Member Signup page. If you have any questions or difficulties, please don't hesitate to contact us via e-mail at info@varegency.org.


What is the benefit of becoming an RSV member?

Your RSV membership offers a range of benefits which, depending upon how often you participate with us, can cover the cost of the membership.  These benefits include:

  • Voting privileges on RSV business
  • Access to the Member side of the RSV website, including access to the Member Forum and Classified Ads
  • Ability to join Members Only events
  • Discounts and/or early access to many RSV events
  • No processing fees charged for online payments
  • Access to the Regency Society of Virginia mobile app
  • Discounts on merchandise or services from our RSV Member-Friendly Merchants

How can I support the RSV as a member?
Of course the easiest way to support the RSV is to show up to events.  But there are certainly other ways to lend a hand.  Since the organization is entirely run by volunteers, we really appreciate it when our members pitch in to help.  We post our volunteer opportunities online for our members through the (surprise, surprise...) "Volunteer Opportunities" link (in the "Events and More" submenu in the navigation bar).  You can offer your time and talent for things such as event planning, educational demonstrations, blog article writing, and more!  If you own a Regency-themed business, you can also lend your support by offering discounts on goods or services as an RSV Member-Friendly Merchant.  Not only will you be advertising in a ready-made market but you will be helping us add value to our memberships.

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Events
Events

Can my children come out with me?
In general, yes!  We consider ourselves to be a family-friendly organization and ask our membership and guests to be respectful of that.  Some programs are less appropriate for children than others, however.  We ask parents to use discretion when making a decision as to when to bring their children along.


Do I have to register for events in order to participate?
In most cases, we're not going to turn you away "at the door" if you haven't registered for an event.  However, registering not only helps our volunteers who organize events, it allows us to communicate important information about the event to you (such as providing contact information or informing you of cancellations due to weather).   In other words, by registering, you're not only assisting us with planning, you're giving yourself the best chance to stay in the know about an event.


Oh no!  I missed a deadline to register for an event I would really like to attend.  Can I still come to it?
Since our group is completely run by volunteers, we usually set a deadline by which we ask folks to register so that those members who are giving of their time to organize events have a good idea of a head count with a reasonable amount of time left to plan before the event.  That said, we can often accommodate late-comers even after the deadline.  Simply send us an e-mail at info@varegency.org and we can let you know if fitting you into the event is possible or not.


I live outside of Virginia and would love to come one of your events.  May I?
Of course!  The more, the merrier!  And, if you’d like to participate with a Regency group more often, may we humbly suggest that you check to see if there is a Regency Society of America affiliate in your state?   We also welcome those from outside of the Commonwealth to join as members if they so choose...in fact, our current membership includes folks from nine other states besides Virginia!


Do you ever have events near ___________?
We make an effort to have events in a wide variety of locations throughout Virginia since our membership hails from all across the Old Dominion, however, our event locations naturally favor the areas where our membership is most concentrated.  Our goal, of course, is to become a truly statewide organization.  If you live in a region where the RSV is currently not very active, we are searching for folks willing to be a point of contact, to help organize, or to offer knowledge of possible venue spaces for events.  Having someone ready to do any of these things makes an event in your locality much more feasible and the RSV will happily assist in any way possible.  Want to help out?  E-mail us at info@varegency.org.


How do I register for events?
Visit our Events page to find a list of events that are coming up.  (RSV Members should be sure to log in by clicking on the "Member Login" link at the upper right-hand corner before visiting our Events
page to speed up registration.)  Find the event you wish to register for and click on the name or on the "View" button to the right of the desired event listing.  This will bring up the details for the event.  You can then click on the "Register Now" button and follow the prompts to complete your registration.

For more detailed information, you can visit the "Register for Event" section in our membership software's User Reference.


Do you have speakers who could come out and talk about the early 19th century with our group?
The RSV has a number of members who have studied various topics and are willing to speak to groups.  Please contact us at info@varegency.org for more information about having someone come out to talk with your organization about our favorite period in history!


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Costumed Participation
Costumed Participation

Do I have to dress up?
Only if you want to!  While there are certain events for which we encourage participants to wear their Regency finery, we rarely require it.


What sort of authenticity standards do you have?
The only time that we have "authenticity standards" of any sort is when we are invited to participate at a function hosted by another group whose purpose in asking us is to present a picture of early 19th century life for the public.  Otherwise, we don't generally require period attire at our own events.  The RSV is not a re-enacting/living history group, per se.  We're an umbrella organization welcoming of those with interests which touch on a variety of topics.  As such, we recognize that not all of our members will be deeply invested in historic costuming.  Usually, though, the folks who do come out in costume make a good faith effort to be as authentic as their knowledge and budget allows and we expect that those efforts will be respected by fellow participants.  After all, everyone starts somewhere!   Part of the fun of our group, however, is expanding our knowledge of the period and, as we are very fortunate to have members who are extremely knowledgeable about fashion history and construction techniques, we delight in being able to not only learn from them but admire their meticulously detailed creations as well!


Where do I get the clothes?
If you sew, there are a number of patterns available that will give you the Regency look with varying degrees of accuracy.  If you don’t sew, there are also several merchants available who will custom-make clothing for you.  (While it certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, check out our Links page to get pointed in the direction of patterns and custom-made clothing.)  If there's an event coming up and you don't have time to acquire or construct clothing, you may be able to find readily available clothing through other members on our Classified Ads or by posting a request on the Member Forum


Does your group loan or rent clothing?
The Regency Society of Virginia does not own any clothing as a group so, to borrow or rent clothing, you would need to get in touch with members directly.  Members looking to borrow clothing should post a request on our classified ads or Member Forum.  If you are not a member, you are welcome to e-mail us to ask about specific pieces and we will make an attempt to assist you in finding someone willing to loan them, however, we will not give out member information without the express permission of the member and we cannot guarantee that clothing will be made available. 


Please also be mindful that these clothes are not mass-produced and have often been constructed by the member loaning them.  They are not easy to replace.  If you are fortunate enough to find a member willing to lend clothing to you, be considerate enough to ask them about how to clean (or if they want you to clean) the garment and return it to them in a timely manner in the same condition in which it was loaned to you.  Such basic courtesies will make it more likely that you will be able to borrow clothing again!


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Website and Other Communication
Website and Other Communication

How do I get the latest news on the RSV without having to check the website all the time?
The best way to keep up with us is to sign up for our mailing list. (Members are automatically added to our mailing list so that they can get the latest information.)  We try to send an e-newsletter out monthly and reminder e-mails before events.  If you're a member, you can log in and change your profile settings to subscribe to all or some of our Member Forum topics to get e-mail notifications when someone posts on those threads.


I have a Regency-themed business or group.  Could I get a link to my business/group on the RSV site?

We are happy to post a link to period appropriate sites.  (The RSV, of course, reserves the right to refuse to post links it deems irrelevant or inappropriate to the RSV and/or its purposes.)  The following businesses/organizations may also add a small graphic ad in addition to a link:

  • RSV members in good standing who own Regency-appropriate businesses,
  • Businesses or venues which donate or significantly discount space/products/services for the RSV’s benefit,
  • Virginia-based non-profit Regency-period relevant groups (e.g. English country dance groups, re-enactment units, active JASNA chapters, etc.) which post a link to the Regency Society of Virginia on their own website.

And, of course, Regency-appropriate businesses who would love to take advantage of a ready-made market by offering discounts to our paying members are given special recognition by being put first on our list of links and are promoted as "RSV Member Friendly Merchants."  If your business is interested in supporting us while promoting yourself, be sure to contact us at info@varegency.org.


Is there a way to stay in touch with other members between RSV gatherings?
Anyone is welcome to interact with us on our Facebook, Instagram
, and Twitter pages.  We are currently hosting weekly "QuaranTeas" on Tuesdays at 8PM Eastern on Zoom which feature a different topic each week on something relevant to the early 19th century.  (You don't need to be a member for the QuaranTeas but you do need to register in order to participate.)

Members can interact with other Regency enthusiasts even more through our Member Forums and in real time through the "Chat" and "Meets" features on our mobile app.  Members can also access the "Chat" and "Meets" on their desktop.